Indisputably one of the most famous reserves in the world and certainly Kenya, the Masai Mara is a picture of quintessential Africa. The beautiful reserve covers 1,510km² of stunning scenery ranging far beyond the iconic image of savannah plains, with an extended wilderness of acacia woodland, swamps, koppies, forests and hilly grassland.
The Masai Mara forms a huge unfenced ecosystem with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, which sets the stage for one of nature's greatest spectacles. While game viewing in the Mara is exceptional all year round, from August to October it spikes dramatically with the coming of the Great Migration. This wildlife bonanza sees over a million wildebeest and thousands of zebra journey from the Serengeti plains to the Masai Mara in a continuous migratory cycle.
Big game viewing, particularly of predators, is extraordinary. Sightings of the Big Five are excellent with strong elephant and buffalo populations, the latter being the favoured prey of the Mara's large lion prides. The level of plains game that call the reserve home is rivalled only by the Serengeti, with incredible eland, giraffe, Coke's hartebeest and topi sightings. The Mara also supports a growing population of endangered black rhino and is one of the best places in Africa to see cheetah.
While game drives are the traditional way to explore the reserve, sweeping high above the plains and swooping low in a hot air balloon is one of the best ways to take in the Mara landscape and its wildlife. With a Masai Mara safari accommodation ranges from exclusive tented experiences to luxury lodges and traditional camps, all of which provide an excellent introduction to Kenya's most famous reserve.
The reserve can at times become over popular with visitors; as such staying in private concessions adjoining the Mara offers added privacy while affording all the reserve has to offer. Such concessions provide excellent activities that can't be enjoyed in the main reserve, with walking safaris and bush breakfasts on offer.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Masai Mara
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